Mike Cattermole: Out on a Lim!
Mike Cattermole looks forward to this weekend's Breeders' Cup, while reflecting upon the ugly scenes at Kempton on Monday.
Limato: Looks tailor-made for the Breeders' Cup Mile, according to our columnist
TRUST IN STOUTE FILLY AT SANTA ANITA?
I have never been to Santa Anita but it remains high on my bucket list. I have, however, attended two Breeders' Cups, one at Belmont in 2005, the other at Lone Star Park in Dallas in 2004. Two more contrasting tracks you would struggle to find.
You could sense Belmont's history but it was a bit of a sleeping giant, with a huge grandstand which was clearly in need of a major refurbishment – I wonder if anything's been done? The other was a track built out of nothing which meant it had no real substance and heritage and thus lacked a bit of atmosphere… at least until Ouija Board went out and won.
I spent both meetings broadcasting live for At The Races alongside John McCririck who had a magnetic presence as far as the Americans were concerned. This was in the pre-selfie days but everybody wanted a picture taken with him, everybody wanted his autograph. Knowing this peculiar behaviour might make it easier to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon, maybe?
The Trump Tower was in its infancy 30 years ago when the mighty Dancing Brave headed out to Santa Anita with British hopes as high as Manhattan's newest skyscraper. But the best Arc winner of a generation wilted as he staggered home in fourth place, suffering from dehydration.
Guy Harwood would admit now that travelling horses such a long way was still a science to be mastered back in those days and things are very different now, so much so that you very rarely hear of it as an excuse.
This year, there is a strong possibility that the British will emerge empty-handed again but I will be cheering loudest for Limato in the Mile as he takes on Tepin, the super mare. There had been talk that the Sprint might have been Limato's race but, thankfully, connections have surely made the right call and I think he is going to run a huge race. Last Tycoon and Royal Academy are two examples of top European sprinters who have won the BC Mile and Limato is in their class.
"I will be having a little bit on Queen's Trust in the Filly and Mare Turf – her second to Minding in the Nassau stands out and she has a high cruising speed, which will be useful."
However, news that he will be running on Lasix provokes a feeling of unease. I would applaud connections if they had swerved it but they must be doing it, in their eyes, for the right reasons, backed up by the "when in Rome" philosophy. Lasix helps to stop bleeding, we know that, but it also causes huge excess fluid loss, which can be good on the day, or bad if it causes dehydration.
Lasix or no, Alice Springs should not be underestimated here as she has made giant strides recently and is more than capable of getting into the mix for Team Ballydoyle.
I worry about her stablemate Seventh Heaven around this tight track in the Fillies and Mares as she seems to take a while to hit her top stride and it may well be over by the time she does, especially as she drops back in trip.
I will be having a little bit here on Queen's Trust whose best form is at 10 furlongs – her second to Minding in the Nassau stands out – and she has a high cruising speed, which will help her. She may be Frankie Dettori's best chance of a winner on the card.
Ryan Moore and Washington DC can go close in the Turf Sprint. He has always travelled well in his races and can finish strongly but he is desperately hard to win with. However, things could just fall right for him as the faster they go, the better he will be and then it's down to Ryan to find a way through. Washington DC has never won a Group race but this is not a strong race and the bookies have cottoned onto that. That said, he is still a possible play at 6/1 with Sky Bet.
Found being rerouted to the Turf seems a sensible decision, if only to avoid the might of both California Chrome and Arrogate in the Classic. She will give her best as always but Flintshire lies in wait.
The dirt was probably a question that even she may not have been able to answer. True, Aidan has had horses placed in the Classic before but both Giants Causeway and Declaration of War were dirt-bred and Henrythenavigator's second came when Santa Anita was using the synthetic Pro-Ride surface.
If Arrogate can repeat his brilliance in the Travers at Saratoga, he will serve it up to Chromie, no question. Let's hope he is no one-hit wonder as this could be a stirring climax to the meeting.
By then, I just hope that Limato and Queen's Trust will have done us proud.
THOUGHTS WITH FREDDIE TYLICKI
While Freddie Tylicki remains in hospital for further examination following that awful pile-up at Kempton on Monday, he will know that the whole of the racing world is willing him to emerge relatively unscatched and with a resumption of his upwardly-mobile career not too far into the future.
That is the positive outlook. The negative outlook is almost too much to bear. This was yet another reminder of the risk and bravery that our jockeys have to go through, ride after ride, day in day out, week after week.
Jim Crowley, on cloud nine after being crowned champion jockey, was brought crashing down to earth but he will recover from a broken nose. Likewise, veteran Ted Durcan who faces an operation on his broken ankle within the next few days.
Steve Drowne, the other jockey who came down and who has had more than his fair share of setbacks in the past few years, was back at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. It was good to see him there. He showed me the incident on his mobile phone and it made you wince.
Steve said he was a bit stiff and sore but more admirable and incredible was his attitude of dusting himself off and carrying on, with the knowledge that it could happen again at any time.
Jockeys, under both codes, can seem immune to pain and the danger and it is something that will never cease to amaze me.
AUSSIE-BREDS IN MELBOURNE CUP
That was some finish to the Melbourne Cup! I have not seen any film of Almandin's owners celebrating but the one of Heartbreak City's owners whooping it up post-race must not be missed. The expression on the face of the TV reporter who attempts to interview them is priceless.
Never has a syndicate been better named than the Here For The Craic Partnership! I noticed that the lads had sold a share in Heartbreak City just a few days before the race to Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock. Maybe there was a contingency if he got placed but, either way, it will ensure Heartbreak City's return next year.
This seems to be the favoured route of securing a runner with some local interest these days as the Australians are not breeding enough horses to line up for their very own showpiece race.
In Tuesday's 24-runner line-up, just one horse, Jameka, was home-bred. The other runners were made up of either visitors from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and Japan or imports from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and France. And Almandin was foaled in Germany at the Gestut Schlenderhan just outside Cologne.
There was only one Aussie-bred in the race last year, two in 2014 and five in 2013 so you can see which way this trend is going. Shocking was the last home-bred winner to triumph in 2009. And, blimey mate, even Makybe Diva was British-bred!
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